Game streaming has quickly become one of the most popular ways to make money on the internet. However, it is difficult to know where to start. Amazon-owned Twitch dominates the market, so there are few legitimate alternatives. At the end of July, Microsoft’s mixer shut down, which YouTube games one of the only viable options. If you want to give it a try, this guide will show you how to set up your channel and step in front of the camera.
Configure your channel
YouTube Gaming has taken on different forms over the years, but more recently it’s been an alternate tab in the regular YouTube interface. For our purposes, that means you don’t need to download any special apps to stream. If you have a YouTube account (which is linked to your Google account) then you already have everything you need.
However, you will need to verify your account before you can begin. Head toward this link while you are logged in. You will be asked to enter a code sent by SMS or, if you prefer, by phone call. Enter this code and your account will be verified. In addition to enabling live streaming, this will also allow you to upload videos longer than 15 minutes, add custom thumbnails to your videos, and appeal Content ID claims as needed.
Configure your broadcast
Then you will need to get your broadcast software installation. There are a few options, but we’ll use Streamlabs OBS for this guide because it is one of the easiest and most robust tools to stream your games. While some features, like streaming across multiple platforms at once, are limited to the app Main subscription, the free version is powerful enough to handle most of what you need to do.
Once you’ve installed the app and logged into your streaming account, you’ll be able to start creating scenes. A scene in Streamlabs is a specific arrangement of sources that you broadcast to your audience. By creating multiple scenes, you can save yourself the hassle of rebuilding a particular collection of sources each time you start a stream.
For example, you can have a scene for typical game streaming, one for going out, and a special setup if you are having a fundraiser or other event. This is similar to how Discord works with multiple channels.
A typical scene might include your game and a webcam feed, but you can add subscription alerts, goal counters, overlays, and more. Streamlabs uses a layering system to place items on top of each other, and each can be resized and moved on the fly. If you find that your webcam feed is covering a significant portion of your game halfway, you can move or resize it.
You will also find a collection of audio inputs in the Mixer section. This includes things like your desktop audio and any microphones you’ve plugged in. If you add items with audio components, they will also appear here. You can adjust their relative volume levels to keep your presentation clean.
For example, Streamlabs includes an Alertbox widget that displays a notification when you get a new track, subscription, or donation. These usually make noise, and you can turn down the volume on these so that they don’t overwhelm your audio stream.
It’s time to start broadcasting
Once you’ve set up a scene to your liking, it’s time to go live. Streamlabs can stream to Twitch, YouTube Gaming, or Facebook Gaming. If you subscribe to Streamlabs Prime, you can stream to everyone at the same time.
To start a flow, click on the green Go live button at the bottom of the screen.
Before going live, you will be asked to enter some basic information about the stream you are starting. YouTube Gaming will ask you to enter the title of the stream and a brief description. You can also add the feed to an existing event, if you have one.
You can also link your Twitter account to automatically send a tweet letting your followers know you’re going to live. This is especially handy if you have followers on Twitter who are not receiving notifications on the streaming platform of your choice.
Once you are live, the chat window on the right side of Streamlabs will appear. This will allow you to keep an eye on the chat while you stream and moderate any annoying messages or passing trolls. If you have a second monitor, it’s usually a good idea to keep this app open while you’re streaming so that you can identify issues and resolve them quickly when you’re live.
Since the monetization of YouTube streams is tied to your regular YouTube account, the same conditions for activating the monetization features apply. Your channel should be part of the YouTube Partner Program, which means you need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 viewing hours in the past 12 months, plus a review from the YouTube team.
Once you’ve reached this point, you can enable ads on your feed, including pre-roll ads that serve before someone watches your stream, mid-roll ads that interrupt it, and overlay ads that display as banners, all of which will generate income. . If you are a games channel, you can also enable Channel Subscriptions, which allows your subscribers to pay a monthly fee to receive the perks you distribute (non-games channels must reach 30,000 subscribers to unlock this feature. ).
For game content, there is some restrictions on monetized content. Some game publishers may prevent streamers from making money using their games, especially if the stream is all gameplay. In general, you should do the following to make sure your content is eligible for monetization:
Add something transformative to the flow. This usually includes a webcam, although it can also just perform audio commentary. The commentary should generally relate to what you are showing on the screen. Off-topic conversation is fine, but you could get demonetized, for example, if you slap an audio track in your Game of thrones opinions on images from Valorant. Likewise, if most of the video lets you play the game silently without a camera, you might get flagged.
Play games with a valid broadcast license. Many publishers allow – even encourage! – players to broadcast their games, but some do not. They may want to avoid spoilers or just don’t want others to market their game. Youtube respect this policy by disabling monetization on games for which publishers have not provided a commercial use license. While most popular games are generally safe, it’s best to do a quick research before you start your broadcast.
With all of that in mind, you are ready to start broadcasting! YouTube Gaming in particular offers a lot of flexibility to build on an existing YouTube channel or community and grow your audience. If you’re looking for an alternative to Twitch, this isn’t a bad place to start.